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How the Western Diet Impacts Aging

western-diet

A recent study in Britain followed 5400 men and women for 24 years, and studied the type of diet they ate and how “well they aged.”  The study defined ideal aging as being free of chronic disease and having high scores on both mental and physical tests at about age 75.

The study provided further evidence that the Western diet, or “Western” style of diet, may not be the best diet for maintaining good health as we age.  The type of diet associated with this region includes ample amounts of fried foods, processed foods, concentrated sugars, red meats and high fat dairy products.

As we know, fresh and minimally processed foods, as well as those foods higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat, offer much healthier benefits and help prevent chronic diseases.  This study is just another testament that fresher foods are always the best choice!

Try to include five or more servings of fresh fruits or vegetables every day, whole grains, lean meats and fish, and low fat dairy products in your regular diet.  Leave the fried foods, candy and sodas for those rare special occasions!

So what is the “secret formula” for staying young?

There are a few things we can do to help ourselves avoid aging too quickly.  Here are some tips:

  • Wear sunscreen
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat foods high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E.  These include tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados and tree nuts.
  • Keep a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook on life

This blog post was contributed by Megan Moore, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

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How the Western Diet Impacts Aging